Art and its many mediums are constantly evolving, and Living Arts in Tulsa strives to honor the brilliant and courageous creators who utilize non-traditional forms of art at its New Genre Festival. Steve Liggitt, the artistic director at Living Arts, explains that the inspiration for this festival came from the desire to magnify Tulsa’s artistic community.
“A trip to New York, where I saw Meredith Monk, caused me to ask ‘Why are we not seeing this kind of art in Tulsa? – the kind of art that leaves you not knowing the questions to ask, much less have any of the answers,’” he says. “And so, each year since we have tried to support local artists who are doing exceptional artwork as well as bring in artists from outside Tulsa to stimulate thinking and questioning about what art (and life) is.”
Living Arts takes proposals year-round for this festival, which are then sent off to the proper committees. There, the proposals are reviewed and voted on based on Living Arts’ mission statement: “to present and develop contemporary art in Tulsa Oklahoma.” Committee members also travel to major presentations across the country to find artists who fit the mission statement. This year, art forms include live performance, video technology, latex balloon sound installations, clay and even holograms.
At the end of the day, Liggett wants people to simply extend their horizons and try attending shows that exist outside the normal realms of commercialized “art.”
“Art causes one to dream and wonder, and Lord knows we all need more of that,” he says. “It causes us to take action and think.”
The New Genre Festival runs March 1-4. Events are free, but reservations are encouraged. Visit livingarts.org to reserve.